Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Il Molinetto – The Little Mill That Could

After hearing rumours of interesting developments that would affect our local olive industry we asked John Southern, owner of Rosendal Farm, to comment.

The decision to purchase an olive press for the farm Rosendal at the end of the Prince Albert Valley, or Die Gang, was a difficult one. Most of the presses used are manufactured in Italy and are expensive. However, we bit the bullet last year and placed the order through South Africa’s “Mr Olive”, Gerrie Duvenhage of Morgenster.

Il Molinetto is made by the company Gruppo Pieralisi, in the small town of Jesi in central Italy. I visited them in June last year and couldn’t help but be impressed by the efficiency and cleanliness of the factory itself.

So it was with nervous expectation that I received the machine in February in time for the picking season. We were concerned with the offloading of the machine and its placement in our newly renovated shed. But, thanks to the careful planning of our project manager, Aidan Liepner, all went well and the machine was immediately commissioned under the supervision of Gerrie.

Many of you will have noticed that the farm buildings are being altered to house the machine and its related operations such as settling, storage and bottling. Hendrik de Villiers is the builder involved and he is doing a fine job, particularly with regard to the four big double doors that are being used.

Farm manager, Anthony Mullins, started picking our olives on 25 March and within hours the freshly picked fruit were turning into green extra virgin olive oil. We have chosen to call our product Kredouw Oil after the name of the pass above the farm and from now on the farm will be known as Kredouw Farm.

The press, where Aidan is ably assisted by Sias Schoeman, is available to other olive growers and by Festival time we will have a farm shop open with a viewing window of the press itself. You are welcome to come and see the operation first hand. The shop will sell olive oil and other related products, almonds and other farm products as they become available. Our olive picking and pressing will take place from the end of March to the end of May.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wondered if you were still happy with your olive press. We are South Africans who have bought a farm in Tuscany and want to buy a press. Out of all that we have seen on the Internet, we thought that the Molinetto looked very compact. Was it very expensive?

I would appreciate some feedback. My email address is:

Many thanks